It has now begun. The wave of mandatory vaccination policies in youth and junior hockey across Canada are being put in place and made public.
While Major Junior teams were the first, we knew it wouldn’t be long before more leagues began announcing these policies.
The GTHL has announced that all players 12 and up must now be vaccinated. The NOJHL who is always known for leading Canada in Junior A player initiatives has announced that vaccinations are now required, and the OJHL has now done the same.
It is only a matter of time before all leagues in Canada make it mandatory to be vaccinated, and it will be mandatory for fans who want to go watch games as well.
The vaccine passport in Canada will be active across every social activity moving forward until the COVID crisis has ended. If it ever ends.
Will teams and leagues in the United States follow Canada’s lead? Its unlikely that everyone will.
Too many potential lawsuits could come from people who are against vaccines, and any organization who receives any public money or has a non profit status could not be seen to be discriminating without risking that money or status. The lawsuits would come quickly.
At the end of August, as we turn the corner to autumn and hockey season, leagues are just now coming out with policy that should have been announced months ago. Will it be enough to allow seasons to move forward with COVID surging across North America?
Mask mandates are being put in place across Canada and the United States once again. Rumors of several States shutting down hockey and contact sports are already beginning to swirl. Numbers of young people hospitalized with COVID are rising everywhere. Those numbers largely from the unvaccinated.
I know. Its your “right” to not be vaccinated. It is also my “right” to be vaccinated, and I shouldn’t be forced to wear a mask, or miss my hockey season because you are not vaccinated. This is the discussion.
Its funny really. A friend of mine who gets a flu shot every year wouldn’t get this vaccine. I asked him why and he replied that it was experimental, and that he didn’t want his DNA altered. This friend is in his 60’s and no one gives a damn about his DNA, so I had no reply.
But this is the discussion. Your rights or my rights. Canada seems to be getting through this, with simple rule making. If you dont like the rules, dont play.
It’s time some people in the United States have the balls to do the same. If everyone is vaccinated who is playing, the State governments will have a very hard time shutting things down again. But you know, its all about everyone’s rights. What about the rights of kids who just want to play and parents are taking that away from them, dont their rights count?
Its going to be another long season folks. This is not over, not even close.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser